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For highly educated women, families are an increasingly popular option
Date:5/15/2012

d not directly address what factors might be contributing to the fertility increase, "We did list some possible explanations based on previous research," said Shang.

Shang mentioned the idea of "the learning story," where the decisions of previous generations inform later decisions by subsequent generations. There has also been an increased supply of personal services that have reduced childcare expenses. Other research shows men may be taking more responsibility for child care.

Shang and Weinberg also could not determine whether women are opting for families instead of their careers or in addition to their careers.

"We know these women are opting for families," said Shang. "We don't know if they in turn are opting out of the labor market."

The researchers discovered an increase in multiple birth rates around 1990, suggesting fertility treatments may have played a role.

"The data does not include information about whether women used fertility treatment," Shang said. "But we use the trends in plural birth rates to impute the share of the increase in fertility among highly educated women that is attributed to fertility treatment."

Shang said the study shows that fertility would have increased even in the absence of fertility treatments.


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Contact: Bert Gambini
gambini@buffalo.edu
716-645-5334
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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